Mania Grade: B+
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- Rated: PG-13
- Cast: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Emma Thompson
- Written By: Etan Cohen
- Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld
- Distributor: Sony Home Entertainment
- Original Year of Release: 2012
- Extras: See Below
MIB 3 Blu-Ray Review
The MIB Boys Return
By Tim Janson
December 12, 2012
Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin in MIB 3
© Sony Pictures
After a ten year hiatus the Men in Black franchise returns with all-new gadgets and alien craziness. The film begins with a dangerous alien known as Boris the Animal, escaping from a maximum security prison located on the moon. Boris vows revenge against Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) for shooting his arm off and imprisoning him back in 1969. You have to love that even on a high-tech prison on the moon, it is still staffed with a bunch of slacker security guards.
Boris uses a time travel device to go back in time to 1969 and kill Agent K, opening the door for his race to invade the Earth. As soon as K’s existence is erased, Agent J (Will Smith) finds his world completely changed. He’s never been partners with K and the world is soon invaded by the alien Boglodites. MIB Chief Zed has passed away (although Rip Torn does have a cameo as an alien at Zed’s funeral) and the new head is Agent O (Emma Thompson). J convinces the new MIB head that he was partners with K and has to journey back in time to save K and the entire planet.
While the plot of MIB isn’t anything terribly original…the time travel plot has been used many times over…it is the freshness that MIB 3 adds which makes the film fun. A highlight of the MIB franchise is the variety of alien races, created once again by the legendary Rick Baker. The shootout in the Chinese restaurant where all of the customers turn out to be various alien types is one of the highlights of the film.
Back in 1969, Agent J has to convince the younger version of K (Josh Brolin) of the threat by Boris the Animal. Give a lot of credit to Brolin who absolutely nails the K’s voice, inflection, and mannerisms. Smith and Brolin have some wonderfully funny scenes as J realizes the pair’s lack of communication in the future is what is leading them into trouble in the past.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld throws a lot at the wall and surprisingly most of it sticks. Back in the 1960s the gadgets of the period have that sort of hip 1960s flair to them including the jet packs they have to use to travel from New York to Florida. Smith also has to deal with the racial prejudices of the day as he is rousted by a couple of cops but it’s played well for laughs.
Jemaine Clement is rather one dimensional as the villain Hell bent on world domination but comes with a certain malevolent charm although he lacks the gooey absurdity of Edgar the Bug from the first Men in Black film. Michael Stuhlbarg steals every scene he is in as Griffin, and alien with precognitive powers who is able to see every possible reality and outcome which often hinge on the slightest deviations. His narration of the events before they happen make for some of the wildest scenes in the film as Agents J & K have to constantly be on their toes.
There’s a touching twist at the end of the film which might sound out of place but works quite well. It would be a great place to end the franchise if they chose not to go on but it looks as though MIB 4 will be a go in the near future.
Partners in Time: The Making of MIB 3 (26:30) – Very good making of featurette as Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith discuss returning to the roles after 10 years and Josh Brolin chimes in on joining the cast.
The Evolution of Cool: MIB 1960’s vs. Today(11:00) – Looks at the differences in style and look between the present day MIB weapons, HQ, and aliens, and that of 1969.
Keeping It Surreal: The FX of MIB 3 (10:13) – Looking at the many visual FX and alien FX in the film
Four Scene Investigations (17:30) – A closer look at four of the film’s key scenes including Boris’s escape from prison, Agent J’s time jump into 1969
Five Progression Reels (17:30) – This featurette looks at several aspects of the film from early sketches and animatics to finished product including Boris’ weasel creature, the alien fish, and more.
Gag Reel (4:00)